OECS leaders seek agreement on citizenship programs

MyVueNews Staff-writer

Basseterre, St. Kitts, 20th February, 2018 (MyVueNews.com) – When OECS Heads of Government, whose countries have citizenship by investment programs, meet at a CARICOM meeting in Haiti, they will be hoping to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on their operations.

On the margins of the 29th Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, to be held in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 26th to 27th February, the OECS heads will be pushing to finalise the MOU that will address matters of standardisation, the sharing of information and other related matters.

Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris has been calling on other member countries with CBI programs to “avoid a race to the bottom”.

During a recent Monetary Council meeting held in Basseterre, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who is current chairman of the ECCB Monetary Council, told the media at that “there was no race to the bottom”, when asked about the program.

Skerritt disclosed at the time of the media briefing that the countries involved in CBI programs had been working to achieve important common ground.

“We’ve been discussing the issue of the CBI among ourselves, as Heads of Government, and also at the level of the heads of the various units, and there  was a first meeting; there’s a draft MOU, which all of us have agreed to in principle that’s being discussed among our technical people,” Skerrit informed.

He said also, “I must say all of the countries, which have the CBI programmes, are very keen on this collaboration and this cooperation. It’s a matter for us to meet and to finalize it and to have it ratified and implemented.”

Those countries involved are, Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Kitts & Nevis.

Speaking of the program in Dominica and also referencing the Hurricane Relief Fund operated in St. Kitts & Nevis, Prime Minister Skerrit stated, “We in Dominica have no issue with St. Kitts and Nevis reducing its price. St. Kitts and Nevis has to deal with certain realities, and, as a government, it has to take decisions in the interests of its citizens.”

Prime Minister Harris reaffirmed the importance of the CBI programs to the fiscal stability of the sub-region.

He said, “We will work carefully and thoughtfully to both protect them, as long as it is in our power to do so and to ensure that our island states are not disadvantaged.”

St. Kitts and Nevis has the oldest existing CBI programme in the World, having its genesis in 1984.

 

[Photo: Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit (center) is flanked by Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris (left) and Governor of the ECCB Timothy Antoine (right) ]

 

 

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